This funding provides up to $15,000 to support development of individual Alberta artists, arts administrators, or an ensemble of artists by providing funding for a specific visual arts or new media project.
Who can apply
Individual eligibility criteria
To be eligible for individual project funding, you must be a resident of Alberta. This means you:
- are legally entitled to be or remain in Canada
- are legally entitled to work in Canada
- have had your primary residence in Alberta for at least one full year before applying
- ordinarily live in Alberta for a least six months of each year with the exception of attending a formal program of study
You must be in good standing with the AFA with no open or outstanding projects or reporting to apply. Previous grant recipients must ensure all final reporting has been approved by the AFA before new applications are accepted.
Applicants, including ensembles or collectives, must not be incorporated under either provincial or federal legislation.
Ensembles, collectives, and collaborations
Ensembles, collectives, and collaborations are eligible to apply to this program and must list all principal artists involved in the project activities as part of their application. All members of an ensemble, collective, or collaboration must meet the individual eligibility criteria.
Principal artists cannot apply and/or receive funding for multiple projects at the same time, whether as an individual or a member of various ensembles, collectives, or collaborations.
What does this grant support
Please note, AFA funding is not assured for any project.
For the purposes of this funding opportunity, eligible visual arts and new media projects include:
- fibre art
- fine craft
- mixed media
- installation art
- public art
- media and/or computer-assisted art
Types of projects
Through this opportunity, you may apply for project funding to support artistic activities in:
- art production
- training and career development
Art production includes the development, creation, and production of any visual arts work. Projects should be confined to a distinct phase of a work, such as:
- artistic creation
- crating and shipping
- creative residencies
Alberta individual artists that have been contracted by commissioners to create a specific work are eligible to apply for project support through this funding opportunity.
Marketing includes a program of activity for a specific period that promotes, advertises or disseminates work created by Alberta visual artists, and/or develops audiences for the artist's work.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- attending an exhibition opening, visual arts festival, workshop or award presentation by invitation
- projects that promote and market media art
Research includes a program of activity for a specific period of time that supports or results in the development of a visual arts/new media project.
Training and career development includes enrollment in a course or program of study designed to develop an artist's training in visual arts and new media, and/or arts administration.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- post-secondary study
- master classes
- mentorship programs
You can receive up to $15,000 to support your project. You may apply for up to 100% of eligible expenses that are directly related to carrying out your proposed project.
These expenses may include, but are not limited to:
- contracted artist and technician fees
- commission fees
- production, including materials and supplies that are appropriate for the development of the project
- promotion and publicity
- transportation and accommodation
- tuition or training fees
- administration and contract fees
- basic living/subsistence expenses (housing, local transportation, food, childcare, dependent care) up to $3,000/month
- other expenses and supplies considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary
Additional expenses and activities that are ineligible for AFA project funding include:
- expenses for capital purchases, such as buildings or property, or for capital development, studio construction or renovations
- expenses for equipment such as computers, software, cameras, lighting and audio equipment that can otherwise be rented and/or have a use beyond the life of your project
- recreational training projects
- thesis exhibitions, graduate films and other specific component activities undertaken as part of a course of study
- applied arts such as gaming, architecture, interior design, commercial photography, graphic arts and design and/or fashion design
- contracts for ongoing activities or artists pursuing projects similar in scope to usual activities with the commissioner
- expenses already incurred prior to the application submission, including grant writer fees
How to apply
We only accept applications through Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) online application system. We must receive your online application through GATE no later than 11:59 pm Mountain Time on the deadline date, unless the deadline falls on a statutory holiday or a weekend when it will be extended until the next working day. Please give the system time to process your application so that we receive notification of your submission before the deadline falls.
- applicants may submit only one application to the AFA each deadline across all disciplines
- the AFA does not accept incomplete applications
- applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project
- projects involving more than one artist must be submitted by one individual on behalf of the ensemble or group
- we do not accept separate applications for the same project
GATE username registration
First-time applicants will require a GATE username and password. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your GATE login information at least five business days prior to the application deadline.
- your legal name
- the funding opportunity to which you are applying
- your email address
Your GATE user name and password will be sent to the email address provided.
What to include in your application
GATE online forms
- applicant information: Legal name and confirmation of your status (minor/Albertan)
- if you are under the age of 18 years at the time of application, a parent or legal guardian must e-sign the Applicant Agreement as the designate for the funding, and be responsible for:
- the completeness and accuracy of the application in full
- receipt and use of funding
- reporting on the use of funds
- serving as contact person for any inquiries relating to the funding
- contact information for primary applicant
- ensembles must designate one contact person for all requirements of the grant as the primary applicant
- this designated individual must e-sign the Applicant Agreement
- applicant contact information: Street and mailing address for the primary applicant
- general information: Confirmation of the application category (art production, marketing, research, or training/career development) and applicant status (individual/ensemble)
- project description: A brief project description (20 words) and project start and end dates
- principal artists: A listing of the principal artists involved in the project, their position or role, and confirmation of Alberta Residence
- if you are single applicant, list yourself as artist
- individual applicant agreement: A declaration of agreement with the statement of conditions e-signed by the primary applicant or designate
- project expenses: A listing of project expenditures in Canadian dollars
- project revenue: A listing of non-AFA revenues in Canadian dollars
- the difference between expenditures and revenues will comprise the grant request to the AFA with the funding not exceeding $15,000
The GATE attachment section indicates that not all attachments are required for submission. This is because they are only required for certain types of projects (e.g. marketing plan for a marketing project). It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all attachments noted in the guidelines are submitted with their application.
Please submit the following attachments for all types of applications:
- an artistic resume of no more than four pages that includes a list of exhibitions and other relevant artistic history
- resumes of all principal artists involved in the project
- a detailed description of the project, including an outline of the objectives, planned activities, timelines, and expected results and impact on the applicant’s artistic development
- in keeping with oral traditions, indigenous project descriptions are welcome as oral submissions no longer than 3 minutes in length
- one complete file containing no more than 10 images of completed work done within the last five years
- your file must be in PDF format and no larger than 4 MB in size
- refer to the Helpful Resources section for instructions on how to prepare your images for upload
- one media file sample is also permitted when applicable to your application (see format requirements below)
Please also submit the following attachments, as applicable:
- commission applicants are encouraged to submit a completed and signed contract with the commissioner and a plan for the exhibition, presentation, display, publication, screening or performance of the commissioned work
- applicants who have been accepted into a specific course must provide proof of acceptance and a detailed description, schedule and budget for the training program or course of study
- applicants who have not already been accepted into a course must submit a detailed description, schedule and budget for the preferred choice
- two alternate program choices should be submitted, with detailed descriptions, schedules and budgets for each choice
- official invitations, confirmations or itineraries
- marketing plan
- letter of reference
- resumes for other principal artists
- additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process
- all additional support material should be scanned into a single file and attached to the online application
Applicants may be asked for additional information.
- all video and audio files must be Windows compatible, MP3 and MP4 files are preferred
- wherever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE (up to 4 MB)
- for video and audio files too large to include as attachments in GATE, they may be submitted via email to vaAFA@gov.ab.ca as email attachments or downloadable links
- please format your subject line: <your first initial, last name and project number>, eg. "H.Lee VIPG-56-172631"
- please ensure link contains downloadable files (MP3 or MP4 preferred)
- alternatively, please mail a hard copy CD or USB to 10708 – 105 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1
- please include your first initial, last name and project number on the CD or USB
- support material must be submitted or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadline date
How will my application be assessed
This funding is administered at the discretion of the AFA board on a project-by-project basis.
Staff convene an expert panel to consider all eligible grant applications submitted to each grant deadline. The expert panel assesses the merit of each application both on its own terms and in relation to all other applications received for a given deadline.
Assessment of a project is based on the following general criteria:
- the impact of the project on both the applicant and the artistic genre in Alberta
- the artistic, educational or promotional merit of the project
- the appropriateness of the project budget showing commitment from all partners as applicable
- the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed project
Assessment also takes into account the applicant's:
- artistic and technical ability to carry out the proposed project
- level of training, experience and expertise
- performance and achievements to date
- personal objectives
All expert panel recommendations are reviewed by the AFA board and all decisions are final. Funding is not assured for any project.
When will I hear
Grant recommendations are made to the AFA board of directors. Successful recipients will be notified upon board approval, generally between four to six months from the application deadline.
We gather general comments about the applications and share them on the Adjudication page. The expert panel does not record specific comments about individual applications.
Funding is intended for the purposes described in your application. By accepting funding, you agree to undertake the project as proposed in your original project description.
If you do not receive the full grant amount requested, you are still required to complete the project as proposed if you accept the grant:
- you must return the grant funds if the project cannot be completed as proposed
If you require a change to your project including outcomes, location or an extension to your final report due date:
- you must submit a request in writing for approval by the AFA
- the request must be submitted prior to the change being made and/or before your final report is due
- the AFA may consider a single extension per funding opportunity
Funding recipients are responsible for informing the AFA of how funds were spent and outcomes of the project:
- you must return funds if reporting requirements are not met
- you must return unused portions of funding to the AFA
Any funding recipient who does not provide a report prior to the date noted in the successful notification document, or does not fulfill any conditions associated with a grant or whose report is not approved will be made delinquent and ineligible for further funding from the AFA for a period of three years from the time the delinquency is resolved.
New applications will not be accepted until your previous project is completed and the final report is recieved and approved by the AFA.
Previous funding recipients must have met reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive subsequent funding from the AFA.
The AFA, or our authorized representative, may examine a funding recipient's financial and other records to ensure that the funding is being, or was, used for its intended purpose.
We require a complete and satisfactory final report submitted to GATE that demonstrates that funding was spend on the activities described in the application.
Whenever possible, you must acknowledge the AFA for financial support in any publicity prepared in relation to the project, including electronic, print, or visual material.
In your final report, please include:
- a completed project outcomes questionnaire
- a complete and accurate financial accounting for the project based on the original budget submission
And, when applicable:
- a transcript, certificate or official letter confirming the completion of course of study
- copies of promotional materials related to the project, such as posters and programs showing funding credit to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts where appropriate
- a copy of the work produced
- still images must be uploaded in GATE as an attachment
- all Visual Arts and New Media projects require images of the work created, produced, exhibited, or presented, as part of the final report
- any reviews, publications, invitations and/or catalogues in which the project is mentioned
- a travel itinerary, confirmation of attendance at an event, conference or course of study
Visit the Help and Resources section of our website to:
- download the new Front Office User Guide
- read application tips for individual artists that will help you write a stronger grant application
- find tips for developing digital images to attach to your grant application
Working on your project budget? Download budget examples for Visual Art and New Media individual project funding to help guide you.
Project grant recommendations are made by Expert Panels. Check out what they have to say:
- download the most recent Visual Arts Expert Panel application feedback - March 2021
- download comments from previous years' panels on our Expert Panel feedback archive